Who gets to see McGrath Breast Care Nurses?



  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,364
    With the pink test having just been held the financial statements of the McGrath Foundation have been questioned. It seems 2/3's of the funds go to administration and marketing, leaving 1/3 dedicated to actual nurses. So much for being about those that have this disease. Also as someone with metastatic disease all I see is pink and nothing about the other side and advancement of this disease. 
  • Locksley
    Locksley Member Posts: 953
    I also went through bc during covid.  I was through the public system. I did have access to breast care nurses. They were very good.   Even now if I have questions or concerns I can email them and they reply or point Me in the right direction. 
  • Rowey
    Rowey Member Posts: 38
    My understanding of the McGrath nurse system is that they are not stand alone but are employed with the collaboration of a local hospital or health service. Office and consulting space etc is provided by the hospital. I’m not sure if this is exclusively within the public system but private hospitals often employ their own staff and the McGrath nurses may not have visiting rights in private hospitals unless under special arrangements.
    Everyone with breast cancer can self refer to a McGrath BCN but they may not be able to see you as an inpatient for this reason. They can certainly see you after discharge.
    As others have mentioned, the resources can be very stretched at times, but if you have specific concerns, I’m sure they would try to help. It’s a great service but it doesn’t have unlimited resources. There is very detailed reporting required by the foundation to show where the needs are increasing but that doesn’t always mean there is more money available to increase resources.
  • Blossom1961
    Blossom1961 Member Posts: 2,430
    I have had dealings with the McGrath nurses in four different towns. Two of those towns were a waste of McGrath money. I won't dwell on them. However, Shepparton nurses made me feel like I was cocooned in a big hug. Lovely. Bendigo MBC McGrath nurse is very caring and supportive. It really is a hit and miss.
  • Tri
    Tri Member Posts: 69
    I am in the private system but accepted a referral to a McGrath nurse in early 2023 after my diagnosis. It was really helpful initially but once I commenced active oncology treatment I found it duplicated support I was fortunate to have from nurses on the oncology day ward, so after four or five calls I let our contact lapse.
    I found the McGrath nurse to be kind - and consults could be done by phone. 
    But I’m sad for a few members who didn’t have the experience they might have reasonably expected or needed from their nurse - that must have been hard and feeling angry or frustrated is completely understandable. 
    There is also much generous wisdom and extraordinary models of practice in the comments above - wowser! 
    The regional city of Ballarat also has an amazing resource - public hospital hosted and called the “Ballarat regional integrated cancer centre” with access to support services as part of their suite of offerings.
    Thanks @Fufan for the useful article about effective spending: thought provoking and I agree with transparency. Maybe the author might have been fairer if they took into account the bigger picture and contribution made by the McGrath Foundation to awareness about the importance of individual access to human care (nurses) services. McGrath’s name helps educate people. I don’t know how that contribution can be measured in $ though. 
    I also like how the Pink Test mobilises the general  community at a cricket match because it shows our elected representatives in governments (who are responsible for funding) that there is broad community support to fund nurses for those who can’t get access. 
    I am not a nurse but I just value them and salute anyone who is or has been one in this forum!

  • Abbydog
    Abbydog Member Posts: 489
    I'm sure I sound mean saying this. But where McGrath BC Nurses are concerned I feel it is all or nothing. And I get very annoyed at what I see on TV. Seeing McGrath Nurses with BC patients as examples during the cricket, annoys me. They talk about becoming friends and being supported at appointments. And that they couldn't cope without them. This doesn't seem like a true example for most BC patients. Perhaps the McGrath Foundation could better spend the money on public awareness of BC and research. They will never have enough money to give all of us that kind of service, that is given as an example.
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,392
    I didn’t have a McGrath nurse (and never needed one) and clearly they have been very supportive for some. But surely many cancer patients (not just breast cancer patients) may have a need for someone to assist with the navigation of tests and treatments, especially in the early days of diagnosis. I have been the beneficiary of some of the wins gained by BCNA and I’m grateful, but you’d really not want to have one of the rare cancers not to
    mention other, devastating manifestations of this disease. Early assistance might get a handle on the first stages of depression. Some of us get through remarkably well, some of us might do so too with more help. 
  • Julz67
    Julz67 Member Posts: 16
    I'm in the public system & haven't had any supply from anyone other than family, work colleagues & my chemo nurses.
    I reachout to the McGrath Nurses back on October, I was told they'd be in touch after surgery.  I reached out this week again as I have surgery booked for 22nd Feb & need to ask questions but haven't heard back from anyone. 
    Nurses from Breastscreen said they'd stay in contact with me but when I moved from the Mater Hospital Waratah NSW & their waiting list to see an oncologist to having treatment at Maitland Hospital because they could start treatment in three weeks instead of waiting a minimum of 8 weeks for an initial consultation they haven't been in touch & diagnosis was in September. 
  • Ktre
    Ktre Member Posts: 96
    I was diagnosed in 2021, and went through mastectomy and chemo, more spots found in liver and now live with stage 4, breast care nurse was great at the beginning and had lots of knowledge, they are very busy and always seem to be attached to the surgeons and clinic days, once you step into oncology and have those nurses the best care nurse seems to back off, also they have very limited knowledge on stage 4, they need to have metastatic Breast Cancer nurses to help ladies who continue to live with it. We have two nurses and they are very stretched in the Grampians region. I also have an amazing support group and have utilized the cancer council support.